“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
(Okay, I might say one Spirit, but don’t let that spoil a good quote.)
On the path to reliable, constant grace (love, freedom, peace, joy, abundance, happiness), this is is probably one of the most important steps: from considering ourselves human beings, to knowing ourselves as being human.
Of course, there are times to work with the assumed human being, but those belong in a clinical context, with a specialist who knows this is a brief stepping stone.
Other than that, well, some nondual teachers will say we’re speaking to who we are about who we are not. Some will say we’re talking to who we are not about who we are. Some will say there is no one to speak to, and no one to hear. All accurate, from a particular perspective.
And, whatever the content, that perspective is as a human with a particular belief system. That means the human with a belief system is the perspective, rather than has the perspective.
We’re operating within our own paradigm. Some elements are fairly consistent between humans – like how we interact with time, space and matter. Some elements are totally diverse.
The implications of this are huge, right?
It means debates at the level of opinion are unlikely to be valuable, because the opinions belong within a paradigm, and there are more paradigms than there are people.
In the nondual teaching, we mess with the paradigm. More than once. In fact, the only thing we’re pretty sure of is that we can keep evolving the paradigm – because the paradigm is not truth, it’s a world view.
This is why it is perfectly appropriate to check the human is stable before we rock the boat. But there are two ways of doing this – one reinforces the idea that the human is a separate being, the other moves away from that concept.
And we’re going to develop the human for the rest of its natural life. In obvious ways, like food, work, clothing, exercise. And in any other way that supports the continued shift of paradigm deeper into a nondual perspective, with increasingly less conditioning on behalf of a nonexistent separate being.
How do we do drop the conditioning that keeps us from living the experience of grace? There isn’t one answer. There isn’t even one answer per person. Just as an example, someone who has never been very self-reflective might benefit from journaling for a period, but someone overly analytical might find the same suggestion reinforces that conditioning.
So, if one size does not fit all, what do we do?
We get to know two things:
- What our felt sense of grace (Self) is: love, freedom, peace, joy, abundance, or happiness;
- What our felt sense of separation (not-Self) is: despair, disappointment, bitterness, frustration, anxiety.
When we feel like we are not our Self, that’s out priority. The rest follows.
That’s being human.